Monthly Archives

September 2013

The shadow becomes the substance: The documentary /3

Read Part 1 | Part 2 The interview One of the very important elements in a documentary, regardless of genre, is the quality of the interviewees and indeed the Presenter, that is if the documentary or series of documentaries is going to be ‘presenter led’. This is the equivalent to casting movie stars in a movie. The interviewees and/or presenter are the stars of the documentary and should be selected very carefully. These are the people, men and women collectively, who are going to give individual perspectives on the core subject matter of the documentary and help bring it to life. If a presenter is involved, the casting of the presenter is most important. In an age when attentions spans are very short and the number of TV channels competing for viewers attention having grown almost beyond comprehension, a good camera friendly presenter who can bring a subject to life through their enthusiasm, deep knowledge of the subject matter combined with an ability to communicate and decipher complex ideas and make them discernible to a TV audience in an exciting and interesting manner, can be worth their weight in gold and be a great addition to the documentary.

Read More

Constant unfolding

Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite science fiction writers. As you probably know many of his novels and short stories have been made into films. You will have seen “The Truman Show”, but did you notices that although it’s based on a Dick story have you noticed that Philip K Dick is not acknowledged in the credits? But you must be asking what has Dick got to do with David Bohm? Well Dick was a believer in the Gnostic heresy, that our world was not created by God but by an inferior demiurge. And so our world is less than ideal but somewhere else there exists a more perfect world. That is where the two men meet for Bohm considered that the world we see around us, the world of well defined objects in space and time is more of a surface phenomenon, almost an illusion. He called this everyday world the Explicate Order, below it is concealed something deeper, the Implicate Order. In other words the world we explore with our senses is not hard and fast and fixed but is a constant unfolding and enfolding from the Implicate Order.

Read More

The shadow becomes the substance: The documentary /2

Read Part 1 As I have previously stated, the range of material covered by documentary includes biography, natural history, science, wildlife, entertainment and comedy and various combinations of all of the above; but there is also a further sub-division that embraces the above but refines it even more. Effectively this brings us to the consideration of what we refer to as ‘observational’ type documentary and ‘non-observational documentary’. Observational refers to material, which is gathered within a particular context where we the audience become observers of what is actually happening in front of the lens. Usually this is not set up in any organised way. For example we might go to an A&E division of a hospital and we follow what happens there over a period of time. The filmmaker is not imposing or orchestrating or directing any of the activities as they happen. Likewise a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ style documentary that observes how the public interact within, for example, an airport environment or a railway terminus environment would be similar. In other words a lot of material is filmed over a period of time without a director telling the people in front of the camera what to do. The director is simply looking to observe the situation and hopes to find some interesting interaction that can be edited down at a later stage to fit a particular context within a given structure. Wildlife documentaries too very often also require very long periods of observation in order to gather material that a filmmaker might regard as useful or relevant to the particular subject he is making a film about.

Read More